Study in Japan, Spring Quarter 2003

During spring quarter we are planning for students in the Japanese Language & Culture program to have the opportunity to travel to Japan for approximately eight weeks. Language study will be concentrated in the town of Toyooka, located on the Japan Sea side of Hyogo Prefecture, about 60 miles Northwest of Kyoto:

Following language study in Toyooka, students will spend a week to ten days visiting historical and cultural sites in nearby Kobe, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto.  Students will also spend a few days in Tokyo at both the start and the end of the trip.

Tentative itinerary for spring quarter trip:

03/31/03 - 04/04/03:     Trip preparation (Evergreen)
04/07 [Monday]:         Depart Seattle-Tacoma Airport
04/08 [Tuesday]:         Arrive Tokyo (Narita) Airport
04/09 - 04/12:              Cultural activities, Tokyo
04/12 [Saturday]:         By train to Toyooka; meet host families
04/14 [Monday]:          Japanese class begins at Ookagakuen
04/26 -05/05:              "Golden Week"; individual travel/research
05/06 [Tuesday]:         Japanese class resumes at Ookagakuen
05/16 [Friday]:             Japanese class ends
05/17 [Saturday]:         Depart Toyooka
05/17 - 05/26:               Cultural activities in Kobe, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto
05/26 [Monday]:         By Shinkansen to Tokyo
05/26 -05/28:               Cultural activities, Tokyo
05/28 [Wednesday]:    Depart Tokyo (Narita) for Seattle
05/28 [Wednesday]:    Arrive Seattle-Tacoma Airport
06/02 - 06/06:             Complete and present research papers

This itinerary is still being arranged and is subject to change,
depending on available lodging, transportation, etc.

About Toyooka and Ookagakuen:

During August of 2002, faculty member John Cushing visited Toyooka City and the Ookagakuen School to help establish contacts and investigate its suitability as a place for our students to study.  He took many photographs and some of these appear below, along with short comments.  Further information about Toyooka is available on the Toyooka Home Page .

The onsen [Hot Springs Resort] town of Kinosaki is located a few minutes away from Toyooka by bus or train.  This is a pleasant place to come take a relaxing bath.

Also near to Toyooka is the old city of Izushi, a traditional town with some fine old shrines and castle ruins, as well as many traditional Japanese products, especially ceramics and Izushi soba.

Located in the agricultural area surrounding Toyooka is the National Breeding Center for the Oriental White Stork.  This is the last place in Japan inhabited by this highly symbolic (and very large) stork.  Established in 1965, the center is dedicated to saving the species and reintroducing the stork into the wild.  A fine museum of natural history describes the changes in the rural environment that led to the decline of the stork population and details steps being taken to return the birds to nature.

Other local attractions of note include Genbu-do Park, possessing very interesting columnar lava formations; Kinosaki Marine World, offering access to the underwater marine life of Sanriku Beach Park; and Kei-no-hama Beach, where white sandy shores stretch for more than 1km and offer the only windsurfing site in the area.

Students will study Japanese at Ookagakuen, a privately operated institution located on the Southwestern edge of Toyooka City.  Shown above is the modern classroom building where language classrooms, computer facilities, and the student lounge and restaurant are located.

This is Miss Fujii.  Fujiisan was John Cushing's host at Ookagakuen, and is the person working to make arrangements for our students.  This picture was taken in an older Ookagakuen building used for both classes and adminstrative offices.

Ookagakuen has excellent computer facilities (both Macintosh and PC), and Evergreen students will have access to the web and e-mail while they are studying there.

Shown above is one of the language classrooms.

Calligraphy and pottery are two of the Japanese arts students will be able to explore at Ookagakuen under the instruction of Japanese experts.

Athletic fields at Ookagakuen.  Ichiro once played here!

Lunchroom at Ookagakuen.  The menu lists common lunchtime offerings, including rice pilaf (about $2.25), udon or ramen (about $2), and spaghetti (about $2).

Ookagakuen's kuma ["bear"] bus will be used to provide transportation on field trips to places in the Toyooka area.

Ookagakuen also runs a dayschool and childcare facility called "Kids House."  Students who are interested in learning more about Japanese education will be able to work with the staff of Kids House.

Yours truly nearing the end of a long and wonderful evening of Japanese food, drink, and karaoke.  On the left is Miss Fujii and on the right is Mrs. Ooka, owner of Ookagakuen.  Behind us is the owner of this karaoke bar.  We all had a great time singing "Suki ni natta hito" and other songs.  Mrs. Ooka is a very good enka singer.

Estimated cost:    $3800, plus or minus.


Things to do before the start of winter quarter:

[more information later...]